Would Be Pirates: Webcasters, Intellectual Property, and Ethics

Would Be Pirates: Webcasters, Intellectual Property, and Ethics

Melanie J. Mortensen (Montreal, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-937-3.ch029
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The debate in Canada that occurred prior to the amendment of the Copyright Act regarding the regulation of television retransmission on the Internet emblematizes significant ethical issues arising from shifts in communications technologies. The alleged piracy of Internet retransmitters demonstrates the broader consequences of the regulation of communications technologies and intellectual property at a variety of levels. Future treatments of new media innovations should be spared the retransmitters’ fate, whereby the innovators were called “pirates” and the law was amended to make them appear so in response to industry pressure. Instead, appropriate criteria should be determined with ethical foundations to administer decisions regarding the responsible governance of communications technologies. Legal, political, and social observations complete the analysis in this chapter, whereby such considerations are raised to advocate a principled approach to the regulation of new media and innovations in communications technologies.

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